The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it…”
It was a Sunday. Jesus was riding high on public opinion. Jerusalem was abuzz about his impending arrival in the city. When the inhabitants of this great capital heard that Jesus was on his way to their walled city, they rushed to cut palm branches and laid them on the road. Others took off their tunics and robes to lay them on the path of the procession. It was a day like no other.
“Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! The King of Israel!” the people shouted and screamed as Jesus, riding on a donkey, entered through the city gates – John 12:13-14. The religious elites sighed in resignation. The disciples shouted in jubilation.
But Jesus wasn’t carried away at all by the cheering of the mob. Intoxicating as it was, but their cheering didn’t faze Him. Jesus kept His composure. He knew that the adulation wasn’t going to last. Soon, the adoring crowd will turn into an angry mob and the praises into chants of condemnation. The donkey, on which our Lord sat straddled, slowly trudged through the crowd, oblivious to the tumult swirling around the man from Galilee.
As Herod’s Temple slowly loomed large before Him, Jesus started to weep. “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes! – Luke 19:42. At that moment, a vision suddenly flashed before Him — phalanx after phalanx of sword and a spear-wielding heathen army is descending violently over Jerusalem. Ransacking the temple, destroying the palaces, murdering innocent men and women. There are blood and fire everywhere. Jerusalem is ruined.
Despite the ostentatious display of admiration, Jesus knew that the nation of Israel never really accepted Him – John 1:11, Luke 19:44. That the hearts of that generation was distant and detached from God – Matthew 15:8. That generation that saw His birth and His childhood, beheld His miracles and heard His authoritative teachings was the very generation that Stephen charged with being “stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart.” They were the ones that “always resist the Holy Spirit” and “killed their prophets and apostles” – Acts 7:57, Luke 11:49. The pretensions of this generation proved to be fatal, though. In 70 A.D, Roman general Titus laid siege to the city and decimated it, as Jesus had foretold it.
Today, none of us should ever make the same mistake that generation of Jews made. But if ever you are doing it, then, I appeal to you to stop it. We cannot and must not take God for a fool. Instead, He desires that you become part of the “generation that seeks Him” – Psalm 24:6 Do not join the masses of the unconverted and the backslidden. Don’t be counted among them. Instead, remain those who “have come to the Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem to an innumerable company of angels to the general assembly and church of the firstborn…” – Hebrews 12:22-23. This is the true church of the living God! Make your hearts ache to seek God more and to know more His will for you! You see, saints have always been seekers of God – Hebrews 11:10. Despite their nagging imperfections and flaws, saints have made God as their ultimate object of love and worship. They sought God with their utmost devotion and passion. You should do the same! And to reciprocate their steadfast pursuit of His favor, God will not be ashamed that you call Him as your God! – Hebrews 11:16.
From the Series:
From Golgotha To Glory: A 10-Day Lenten Week Devotional
By Bishop Jonathan S. Ferriol